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Full text of "Mackenzie's own narrative of the late rebellion [microform] : with illustrations and notes, critical and explanatory: exhibiting the only true account of what took place at the memorable siege of Toronto, in the month of December, 1837"

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N. A a R A T I V B 



* • 

^ -" W I T U 








Price la. 







• f ' 







Until a more comptindious History of those important Evontit wiiicli hnve 
occupied the attention of, and given the irost serious excitement to, tlie Canadiau 
Public, for tiie last few months; — togeiiior wiili more extensive details, and 
copies of ail the documents relating tiiereto — can be prepared ; all which will 
form a volume of considerable dimensions, the following Narrative, originally 
written for, and sent to, the Editor of XV^ Jcffcrsonian — a ncwsjiaper publisiiod 
at WateHown, in the State of New-Yor<, by the Arch- Traitor MACKENZIE, 
himself, will be read with the deepest ihterost by all chisscs of Society in the 
Canadas, and even beyond the boundailes of the British Provinces in America. 
It is authentic; and contains more truttthan Macrrnzig, generally threw into 
his injurious compositions. 

Our Canadian Editor of «his work, however, cannot permit it to go forth in 
this country, without explanatory Noto, corrective of the errors fallen into by 
the original writer of the Narrative ;v/\\ttC they evidently occur ; together with a 
(qw introductory romarks. 

The seeds of dissatisfaction towarci the Executive in Upper Canada were 
first extensively sown by Robert GoVlav, Esq., tlic well known Scottish 
Reformer ; wh" e objects, however, jit cannot now be well doubted, wcro 
Honest. Those seeds were greatly f^vanced towards maturity by the unfor- 
tunate agitation of the Alien Queston ; but the Chief, most deeply rooleJ, 
and incessantly active, cause of all the principal mischief lies in the Oliuarchv, 

I i 

which has been suffered to mature its 

f into the most frightful and calamitous 

power that ever afflicted an cxtensi4, rich, and beautiful Province ; and a 
brave and otherwise loyal p(3ople. T e system of exclusivenesji, and the mer- 
ciless persecution of all those who refpe to bend the knee to llie narrow-minded 
policy, and arbitrary power of the Fimily Comtact ; the consequent favorit- 
ism ; and the baneful spirit of monopily ; with countless evils beside, — which 
have resulted from the combined interests of a few upstart families, unfortu- 
nately entrusted with power at an early period in the Government of the Colo- 
ny, — have caused, and will continue t/cause, without the immediate interference 
of the strong arm of the Imperial Power — the most serious discontents, and 
a general paralysis in the affairs of tie Country. 

So skilfully are the snares of thisdestructive Compact laid, that it seems to 
matter but little who is sent out as Governor : for Governor after Governor 
invariably falls into their hands, andbncomes a mere instrument to effect their 
own purposes — abundant evidence o' this fact, even under the tmunted firmness 
justice, and decision of character, cf Sm F. B Head— ni;«y be seen in the 
greater part of the late civil, ai>d especially in »he late military, appointments. 

With the knowledge of all these facts we must not be surprized at the con- 
duct of Governor Head, a little previous to, and durini: tiin outbreak; nor 
must we censure him for all the blindness and imbeoility which characterized 
the Ei.:cntive on that occasion. As the Monarch of England, politically, 
can do no wrong — so are we willing that the Represrntat;ve here shall ba 
protected behind the dark curtain of his Councillors ! 





GovERiion IIeau, asv His Councllous too, weue in possession or all 


iN«'irir\rY ' ! ! They cli<l hc< put it ilown ; nor «f7<7/»|>J to put it down ; bui 
lau"lie(i ai, or treated witli contuinpt i!i -ir inCorniants ,— no matter liow respect- 
able or deserving' ol' credciico, tlioso informnnts weic ; cr(jo, tlioir doctrino 
is that if 11 ni'J" '^'^'"^ ""' ^^"^'' ''"* ''^'"''' ^"^^ lauiily hlown into atoms and liim- 
sJlt(lfstrovi.'d — ho permits an immcnsL iinanti(y of gunpowder to bo put into 
)iid collar ; tho lordi which is d jsliued t) cause its exniosion, to be Mglijed ; and 
the assassin, who hiars it, actually to eiilcr tlio cellijr, whilst lie, himself, 
very (luiiMly, '■'■poor cast/ /««.'," iroeh losleop, in tho mantle of his precautions, 
imniedl'ilery abovu the albrcbaid coniLustibles ! ! ! — Accordiiic: to such .. doc- 
trine, too, peonU; who wish to live in domestic peace and harmony, nuist bo 
kept in continual, and aliirniin;^ a'^itaticn; and in eivil broils and discord ; and, 
fjrUier, that the best way to clear olV liu inrtimjranres of an ah-eady deeply 
n\ort^ii"ed eitate is to burlium it wiih an fiddilional delit of Four Millions of 
D<-i.LAiui ! ! ! — Well, well, tlio *' Sclnwl-mastcr is abroad ;" — and, clearly tj'?t 
wi'.lio'.it his c<(t-it^-nhir, td'th \ and the ellois of our land must at length confess 
that thill- clueis, from Adam i]o*vnward.>— krj-v notliing ! ! ! 

It may be scarcely now necessary to i?niark that, up to Sunday evening, the 
3rd of Dtjccmher last, no precautiunarv :teps of any kind were taken to defend 
the C'iiy of Toronto — tho fnst avowed object of attack on the part of the 
icbels— altlioun;h rumours of their imniuiate approach were rife — and there is 
not the smaJ'ifit doubt, in all human apj-^aranee, and by all ordinary rules of 
calculuiii'u, that the City nii'jhl havo beti taken and sacked ; and burnt; the 
Banks |)!undered ; p<i!)lic archives destroyed ; and all persrris obnoxious to tho 
reh( 1j, bu'clicred in tho sliort £;)ace of iiuljour or two — in either of the nights 
of Di-'canber Crd oi* •lih, -.vithout lat or lii.'dranco, had their leaders pushed on 
to the catastrophe, when iKinging on .ho kirts of the City — during tho awful 
interval of tliose two nigl:ts ; nay, it \< \ fact — that the greater part of the 
verv armj bioiiglit fur tho defence ol tlie City, many weeks before, %vert not 
even iiupackid until TuL^daii mornln;:^, 'he Cith of Dcccmhrr — but two days 
bofuro tho decisive enijagemeiu at Mont.Hiicry's ilill, on Thursday, the 7th 
inslnnt 1 ! ! 

Tiu:; manifestations of Divine Favom lave been most striking, and many, 
throii^iioiit ll.c scenes herein narrated -aiii claim the deepest, and most lasting 
^'; ataude uf our people. Uut, ur.der the j)iitecting favour of the ever Gracious 
and Ai.Mioirrv (jod, no oae can road tie following pages without feeling 
co.isiucid that our nuicli resj ected, higlt-.s|irited, yet imassnming CiiiF.r Ma- 
GisTKATi: of the Oily — was the main instriment in its preservation ; \'oi' Anderson 
vilv.iv. career was cheeked so oi.pi.rtiinc'ly, \\u\ so cri'ectually, was the General 
inion whoai Mackenzie relied i'or success ; and, had he not fallen, the attack 
on the City would undoubtedly havo been made that night. Since neither the 
E.vccutive.nor the Parliament have seen fit U reward Mr. Powell for his gallant 
tondncf, and for tho vi>ry essiinlial service ha has rendered, — wo hope a jjublic 
meeting will be called to g-vu some lasting tastitiiony of the meritorious light ia 
which that service is viewed by the whole community. 

Proceed we, now, to tho Narrative. 



AN A<:€Oll\T 


It E B K L L 1 () iN N EAR TOR O N T O . 


AdJrrued to the' Editor of the JeJfeTSonim .VfiMpa^jfr, at Watertown, in tht Side 

ijf Ato. I'or/iT. 

N.TT Island, L). C, 14th January, 1838. 

Deak Sir, 

I rorcivjil .••Cdfcrdiiy tliroo or foirof your latest piper?:, with a couple of llie 
Upper Canada Heralds of last niuntli, ar.dli'ttfirf from Afessrs. ftkL-^oil ami Flotclier, 
dalL'd at VVatcrtowi), tlio 'Jtl lllPt'lM^ In im of tiicsi; Haralils, 1 liud a very incorrect 
nan.ilivo ol llio insmr.rctioii at Toroii'o ; ;rtd ac your journal (,i-cib:;b!y pirfnldtjs va llic 
same section ol the country, mid tiicrc is ;o iiicdiljood tlio Kinq'-'ton editor would por- 
mit me to correct iiis errord, I rrnuest tli:| you will pubLnli I'.i.-) stti.toincut, at ycsur 
leisure, in the Jcflbrsonian. I aldo send ^ your perusal tho RornK^Tni Di;:,:ncii.\T 
of last Tuesday, with a long article over r.jjeigiuiture, entitled '* Reasons for a Ilnoln- 
tion in Canada" t!ic pniUsal oi wiiich miiit prriiajis be nccccplnble to tiio old friends 
and neighbors of your fellow citizen, Johiju. Parker. . 

NARRATiVK, £:c. 

Ox the 31st of July last, the Leformers of Toronto responded 
to the request of their fellou Buirercrs in Lower Canada, l>j 
the appointment of ward cornuitlees of vigilance,' the pnssrs^e 
of resolutions of synipalhy anc co-operation, and tlic adofjlion 
of a dec- iration of rights and grievances, nd.ic'i only dill'ereJ 
from your great Declaration of 177(3, in that it did not at once 
proclaim the Province inde[endent, nor euunieratc, in all 
* nses, the same complaiatj. 

[1] Early in Replembcr last, the Go\ornor was mtidc -cn/iainted with tho naturo^ 
extent, and objects of these secret Comni.ttecG in one of tiie inoHieeditiouH cjnartcrt of 
th3 Home District, by an active Magistrate of Plek'Ting, v.-iui had laL-on ni .^afir.res to 
watch their every motion. Uutit was nil without any useful cfKict. Sir F. R. Head 
was in such liands, thai, if a prophet had risen from the dead— his admonitions would 
have been equally ineffectual ! 







Tiic Ilcrorinors lind taken great pains to inform the 
British Government of the true state of affairs in Upper Can- 
ada, and many believed that Sir Francis Bond Head would 
do wliot lie could to remove the chief causes of discontent, 
until the proceedings of (he executive previous to, and at the 
last general election of a House of AssembI)', convinced them 
that nothing but a revolution would relieve the country. This 
opinion 1 was c( Jifirmed in, by observing that when the As- 
sembly of Lower Canada deferred granting supplies until their 
wrongs would be redressed, the House of Commons of Eng- 
land, by a vote of about ten iu one, and the Lords unanimonsly 
(JiOrd Brougham alone dissenting,) resolved, that the pro- 
ceeds of the revenue raised in that colony, both by Provincial 
and British Statutes, should be expended without the consent 
of the Keprescntativcs of the People, or the form of law, in 
keeping up a costly form of government iu which the governed 
had no sharc.- 

In the declaration of griivances of the 31st of July, the 
British Government were disinctly given to understand that 
revolt might be the consequeace of its base duplicity. And 
that declaration was read, coisidered and approved at 200 
public meetings in the country ; 150 branch associations, 
agreeing to its principles, were speedily organized, and Sir F. 
B. Head was informed throiigti the press, that the officers of 
these societies might be used as captains and Lieutenants of 
companies, for resistance by force, in case a change of his 
measures did not soon take pkcc.^ 

The many scenes of violerce and outrage which occurred 
at our public meetings between July and December I need not 
recount.^ Let it suffice to say, that we kept up a good under- 
standing with the Reformers of Lower Canada; and conclud- 

[2] All this is in the usual canting terns of the rebel party— to produce an effect 
amongst persons who are ignorant of the \«8t power which the representatives of the 
people posaeas in this Colony ; and the rebtls, themselves, cannot pretend to call their 
own representatives Foreigners, nor arc thsy ignorant, though they pretend to be so, 
that every representation made through the Legislature, to the Imperial Government, 
IS instantly attended to. 

[.")] Here \e another ''palpable, hit" at the wise Councillors of His Excellency, 
who,>o many months afterwards was caught *' napping"! 

[4] No ; but tliose scenes ought to have convinced little Mae and his Executive 
or the resistance tliat would be made to any attempt towards an overthrow of tho 
tjfovemmcnt. ' "^ 


[7 1 

ing that arbitrary impriaoiiments and a declaration of military 
execution w^uld follow the anticipated outbreak at Montreal, 
wc resolved to S!)Cond the Lower Canada movements by 
others, equally prompt and decisive;.* 

Some of the members of our branch societies wore kept 
in ignorance of the intended revolt. Othor^ were fully aware 
of it. Some whose names were attached to no association 
were leaders in the revolution — other very active republicans 
took no part." The presses under my control sent forth nearly 
3000 copies of a periodical filled vv'ith reasons for revolt, and 
about the third week in November it was determined that on 
Thursday the 7th of December, our forces should secretly as- 
semble at Montgomery's Hotel, three milch' back of Toronto, 
between six and ten at night, and proceed from thence to the 
city, join our friends there, seize lOOO stand of arms, which 
had been placed by Sir Francis ir the city-hall,' take him into 
custody, with his chief advisers, place the garrison in the 
hands of the liberals, declare the Tovinco free, call a conven- 
tion together, to frame a suitable constitution, and meantime 
appoint our friend Dr. Kolph, provincial administrator of the 
government. We expcv .ed to dt all this without shedding 
blood, well knowing that the vie; regal government was too 
unpopular to have many real adh'jfents.'^ 

Only in one instance did w( jforward a notice of the in- 
tended movements beyond the lidiits of the County of York, 
and to Whitby" and some other t4vns in it; no circulars were 

[5] The prelude to thcso socoHdary, oi- rartor simullancou<;, movements, wo rather 
think might be traced up to the period whci the be- pmisett B\\)\vi:i.i., clandostiiiely 
introduced Papineau's celebrated letter on tie table in our House of Assembly. 

[6] How could they be very active and yst take tin pad .' Those Presses 
to may be easily recoja^nized. Unc of them, vith the motit extensive edtablish 
fortunately now in other hands. 

[7] One of the most extraordinary instincca of infatuation on the part of the 
authorities, throughout the whole affair— is Uq fact that the greater part of those arms 
were actually not unpacked until Tuesday norning, the 5th of December, al^'iougli 
they had been received many weeks before— and it, was known tliat the rubcls were 

[8] This pretended humanity is too ridi:uloua for tiic credence of any one. One 
of the principal rebels in Young Street decltred, that they ucro U> begin by hangnig 
Sir Francis B. Head from the top of his owi flag-stalf! ! I 

[9J Is it not most extraordinary that I unter, who is here alluded to, and who 
was, next to Mackenzie himself; the most ictive traitor of them ail, in the country, 
should have been permitted to go at largo on bail, after liis arrest for Treunnn.' The 
consequence was, that he immediately abscmded, after writing a ihr-jatening letter to 
the Editor of this pampldet. 


hmcnt, id 





[8 ] 

Bcnt. We never tloiibtcil the feeling of tlio Province. Sir 
FranciB admit.^, in "his Hpe(!ch from tlic throije/' that we 
would iiave cheerfully submitted the whole matter to a con- 
vention of the people.'" 

Twelve leading rcibrtners in the city and county ngreccJ, 
one day in November, that on Thursday the 7th of December 
last, between the hours of six and ten in tho evening, the 
friends of freedom in the .several townships, led by their cap- 
tains, would meet at iMongomciy's, march to Toronto, seize 
the arms we so much wanted, dismiss Sir Franci.s, and pro- 
claim a Ivepnblic. The (otaiis were left entirely to my man- 
agement ; and an ( xeculivc in the city was named to corres- 
pond with Mr. Papineau anJ our other fricndd below, allbrd 
intelligence, aid our cllorts, and finally, to join the army at. 
Mcntgonuny's. It was al-'O stipulated that no attenjpt should 
be made by that executive" to alter the time on which we were 
to revolt, without consulting with me in the lirst instance. 

The country was ripe for a change, and I employed a 
fortnight previous to Suntla}, the 3d December, in attending 
secret meetings, assisting in organizing towns and places, and 
otherwise preparing for the revolution. On that day, I rode 
from StoullVille, (vvlierc I lad held two private meetings on 
the Saturday,) to V'onge-sucet ; and arrived at Mr. Gibson's 
in the evening.'- To my usonishmentand dismay, I was in- 
formed by. him, that although I had given the captains of town- 
ships sealed orders for the Thursday following, the executive, 
through him, by a mere verbal message, had ordered out the 
men beyoDd the ridges, to attend at Montgomery's with their 
arms next day, Monday, and that it was probable they wero 
already on the march. 

I instantly sent one of Mr. Gibson's servants to the north, 
countermanded the Monday movement, and begged Colonel 
Lount not to come down nor in any way disturb the previous 
regular arrangement, because neither of the other towns, nor 

[ 1(1] Convention of the People i 
worst species of Kapublicaniem ! 

-Why, what is that but yielding at once to the 

[11] Curiosity will be oil agog in Toronto, to fix upon the individuals who formed 
this sama Extcutivn ! 

[\2\ On Saturday, tlie 2d instant, Mackenzie was seen with both hands in his 
breeches' pocket, knitted brows, and his hat drawn closely down over his eyes, and 
oinst serious aspect— making a strict scrutiny of the Market Buildings — giving occa- 
siona^ly a RignKicant nod, or wink, to some of the country peoplecollected in the square. 


I 9] 

the clti/.(Mis of Toronto, vveri! ia any way prepared" for tm 
altoratiorj which, if [)orsislcfI in, would surely ruin ih. The 
Burvnnt returned on Alonday, with a message from Mr. Lount, 
that it was now too Into to stoi), tiiat the men wore warned, 
and moving with their guns niid pikes, on the march down 
Yongo-street, (a distance of 30 or 40 miles on the wonst roads 
in the world,) and^thut the ohj-et of their rising could there- 
fore he no longer concealed. 

I was grieved and so was Mr. Gibson, but we had to make 
the bcHt of it; accordingly I n.ountcd my horse in tjie jiller- 
noon, rodo in towards the city, took five tru.-^ty m';n with me, 
arrested several men on suspicion that tliey were going to Sir 
Frauci.^ with information, plac( J a guard on Yonge-strect, the 
main northern avenue to Toonto, at Montgomery's, and 
another gurrd on a parallel road, and told them to allow none 
to pass the city. I then waiicd some time, expecting the 
executive to arrive, but waited ii vain — no one came, not oven 
a message — I was therefore hft in entire ignorance of the 
rojulition of the capital; and iistcad of entering Toronto on 
Thursday, with 4000 or 5000 iien, was apparently expected 
to tnko it on Monday with 200'* wearied after a march of 30 
or H) miles through the mud, in the worst possible humor <it 
finding they had been called from the very extremity of the 
county, and no one else warnelat all. 

About eight or nine o'clock, [l accompanied Capt. Anderson 
of liloydtown, Mr. Slirppard, and two others, on horseback, 
down Vonge-strect, inter; Jing i'no one came with tidings from 
the city to go there and ascertiin how far an attack and sei- 
zure of the muskets and bayonets we so much needed, was 
practicable. There were war'ants^'out for my apprehension, 
but I did not mind them much 

We had not proceeded far when we met Alderman John 

[13] Insidious and treacherous men are alwaygj cowardly, and we suppect thai 
Rolpk's heart failed him on coming to the sratch. 

[14] It is not credible that so largo u force of rcbclj could have been collected 
together on one point, under any circunstances ! We are however clearly of the 
opinion that the city mipht have been captured, sacked, and destroyed, at any iiour 
during tiie nights of Sund;iy the 3d, md Monday tlie 4lh instant, m the total 
absence of all precaution on tlie part of ths Government — even by a less force than 
200 men, under dashing and spirited leaders — without tiiat specialjinterfercn -O of 
Divino Providence so wonderfully conspicuous throughout the whole affair! 

1 * 



\ / 



■ i ^, ^w4i ^ \. 



[ 10] 

Powell," (now Mayor,) and Mr. Archibald McDonald, late of 
Kingston, on horseback, acting as a sort of patrol. I rode up to 
them, presented a doable-barreled pistol,'" informed them that 
the Democrats had risen in arms, that we wished to prevent 
info-mation of that fact from reaching the city, and that they 
would have to go back to Montgomery's as prisoners, where 
they would be well treated, fed and lodged, and in no way 
injured in person or purse— but they must surrender to me 
their arms." They both assured me they had none, and when 
I seemed to doubt, repeated the assurance; on which I said, 
"Well, gentlemen, as you are my townsmen, and men of honor, 
I would be ashamed to show that I question your words by 
ordering you to be searched ;'"* and turning to Messrs. Shep- 
pard and Anderson, I bade them place the gentlemen in the 
guard-room, and see that they were comfortable, after which I 
proceeded again towards the city. 

Not many minutes afterwards I was overtaken by Alder 
man Powell, riding in great haste. I asked what it meant, and 
told him he must not proceed, except at his peril. He kept 
on, I followed and fired over mj horse's head, but missed him. 
He slackened his pace till his horse was beside mine, and 
while I was expostulating vvith him, he suddenly clapt a pistol 
quite close to my right I east, but the priming flashed in the pan, 
and thus I was saved from instant death. At this moment 
McDonald rode back seeming]/ in great affright, and Powell 
escaped from me by the side bar, and by a circuitous route 
reached Toronto. McDonald appeared unable to expluin, I 

[15] [n order to ascertain the truth of all the facta connected with this part of 
the Narrailv. — and of the remarkable ciicumstances which occurred during ihat 
memorable evening — wo waited upon our gallant and worthy Mayor, and the result 
of our enquiries, which ho very kindly and with much frankness answered, is so inter- 
esting and complete, that we have thrown the intelligence, we thus obtained, into an 
Appendix, to which we here beg leave to refer the reader. 

[16] Mr. Powell thinks it was a larg;e lorse-pistol. 

[17] Mr. Powell did not say that he wes unarmed ; and here it niay bn proper to 
name another provideiilial circumstance — Mr. P. intended to have taken his fowlmg 
piece with him — but not being able tO find its caps, he borrowed the pistols he carried 
from the High- Bailiff'— one ot which had &'^rcussion and the other ajlini lock. They 
were both small ones. It was the flint lock that flashed in the pan— by which incident 
Mackenzie's life was saved for that time. Had Mr. P. taken his gun with him, it is 
most probable his own life would have been sacrif.ccd ! 

[18] Mr. P. declares that Mackenzie made no such court aous speeches, but mut- 
tered somewhat of his dissatisfaction. Mr. P. says that he clapt his pistol into M's. 
face, so closely, ha thinks, as to toucli it. 



it 19 

[11 1 

therefore sent him back the second time, and being now alone 
judged it most prudent to return to Montg-omery's, on my way 
to which I encountered the murdered remains of the brave 
and generous Capt. Anthony Anderson, the victim of Powell's 
baseness. His body lay p' otched in the road, but life was 
extinct. Tlie manner of I .s death was "^.s follows : — Sheppard 
and Anderson were accompanying Powell and McDonald on 
their way to the guard-room at Montgomery's, when Powell 
was observed to slacken his horse's pace a little — by this 
means ho got behind Anderson, and taking a pistol from his 
pocket, shot him through the back of his neck, so that he fell 
and died instantly.'" Sheppard's horse stumbled at the mo- 
ment, Powell rode off and McDonald followed. Whether 
Powell is or is not a murderer, le.- the candid reader say. I 
give the facts."" On arriving at Montgomery's, I was told by 
the guard that Colonel Moodie of the army had attempted to 
pass the barrier, that they had told him what guard they were, 
that he had persisted and fired a pistol at them, on which one 
of the men levelled his rifle and slot him. He died in an hour 
or two after. I find it stated in many of the papers that I 
killed Colonel Moodie, although at the time of his death I was 
several miles distant, as those tien present well know. But 
I fully approved of the conduct ol those who shot him. 

Sir Francis Head admits tiat he was entirely ignorant 
of our intended movement until awakened out of his bed that 
night. His informant, I believe to have been Capt. Bridge- 
ford.^^ He had the bells sett a inging, took up his abode in 
the city-hall, delivered out a few rusty guns, made speeches, 


[19] It ia rather singular how Mackenzie could pretend to desciibe the manner of 
Anderson's death when he did not witness it! He, however, is not very far wrong in 
tiiis part of his narration — as will be seen bj reference to Mr. P's account. Most of 
the rebels assert that he was not shot at ail— if so, why was the body so carefully 
concealed ? Mr. 1*. declares that he had nj intention of making resistance until he 
iicard that poor Moodie was killed— he thei, naturally, concluded his own turn was 
next — and was determined to seize the first opportunity to escape. 

[20] Murder indeed ! Pray what wis, and what is Mackenzie /i imse^/"— and 
what title would he have taken unto himself, had he shot our worthy Chief Magistrate, 
which he attempted to do ? 

[21] No— it was Mr. Powell himself, who went directly after his most fortunate 
escape, to the Government House, and to thi bedside of His Excellency the Lieutenant 
Governor, and awoke him ! — and ill has he been requited : — indeed, ho has not been 
requited at al!— except by the increased csleem of his fcliow-citizens ! ! 






[ 12] 

and was in great trouble. Of ail which particulars our execu- 
tive neither brought nor sent us any account whatever. 

About midnight our numbers increased, and towards 
morning I proposed to many persons to march to Toronto, 
join such of the reformers there as were ready, and endeavor 
to make ourselves master of the garrison and mnsquets. 

To this it was objected, that I was uninformed of the 
strength of the fortress, that the other townships had not yet 
joined the men from the upper country, that wo were ignor- 
ant of the state of the city, and that gentlemen who had 
advised and urged on the movements, and even the cxecu( ve 
w^ho had ordered this premature Monday rising, stood a!oo.) 
and had neither joined us nor communicated with us. 

Next day (Tuesday) we increased in number to 800, of 
wliom very many had no arms, others had rifles, old fowling 
pieces, Indian guns, pikes, «fcc. Vast numbers came and 
went off again, when they found we had neither musquets or 
bayonets. Had they possessed my feeling in favour of free- 
dom, they would have stood by us even if armed but with 
pitch forks and broom handes. 

About noon wo ohtaired correct intelligence that with 
all his exertions, and including the college boys, Sir Francis 
could hardly raise 150 supporters" in town and country; and 
by one P. M. a flag of truce reached our camp near the city, 
the Messengers being the Honorables Messrs. Rolph and 
Baldwin,"^ deputed by Sir Francis to ask what would satisfy 
us, I replied, "Independence;" but sent a verbal message that 
we had no confidence in Sir F's word, he would have to send 
his messages in writing, aid within one hour. I then turned 
round to Colonel Lount and advised him to march the men 
under his command at once into the city, and lake a position 
near tbe Lawyer's Hall, and rode westward to Col. Baldwin's 
where the bulk of the rebels were, and advised an instant 
march to Toronto. We had advanced as far as the college 
avenue, when another flag of truce arrived, by the same mes- 
with a message from Sir F. declining to comply 


[22] This all the City of Toronto well knows— and Mackenzie himself must 
have known when he wrote it, to be one of those deliberate falsehoods he took so much 
deliglit ;n uttering. 

[23] Of all the absurdities during the whole affair, this embassy was the most 
absurd! It ip, indeed, so inconceivably ridiculous, considering Iho cliaractcr of the 
parties, as to be absolutely incredible, if it wag not confirmed by so many witnesses : 


for 01 
the wl 
on oui 
and c\ 
not IJ 
was a I 

mo r 

that al 
at one 

■g.l i . I ' ' MS. ' 


" mi 



r execu- 






(1 of the 

1 not yet 

e ignor- 

ho had 


d aloo.i 

800, of 


imo and 

quets or 

of free - 

)ut with 

hat witli 
,ry; and 
the city, 
Iph and 

lage that 
to send 
11 turned 
lie men 

I college 
he mes- 


liBoIf must 
Ik 60 much 

Is the most 
ctcr of the 
Itnessca : 

[ 13] 

with our previous request. We were proceed in<j to town, 
when orders from the executive arrived tiiat we should not 
then go to Toronto, but wait till 6 o'clock in the evening and 
then take the city. 

True to the principle on which tlic compact was made 
for our rising, the order was obeyed, and at a quarter to six 
the whole of our forces were near the toll bar, on Yonge-f5treet, 
on our way to the city. 1 told them that I was certain there 
could be no difficulty in taking Toronto ; that both in town 
and country the people had stood aloof from Sir Francis ;■' that 
not 150 men ajid boys could be got to delcnd him ; that he 
was alarmed, and had got his family on board a steamer, that 
600 reformers were ready waiting to join us in the city, and 
that all we had to do was to be firm, and with the city would 
at once go down every vestige of foreign government in U. C.*^^ 

It was dark, and there might bean ambush of some sort,-^ 
1 therefore told six rifle men to go a liead o( us a quarter of a 
mile on the one side of the street, inside the fences, and as 
many more on the other side, and to fire in the direction in 
which they might see any of our opponents stationed. When 
within half a mile of ttie town, we t(ok prisoners the Captain 
of tlieir Artillery, a Lawyer, and ilie Sherid's horse. Our 
riflemen a head saw some 20 or 30 of the enemy in the road 
and fired at them, the 20 or 30, or some of them, fired at us, 
and instantly took to their heels ant ran towards th.e town. — 
Our riflemen were in front, after theti the pikemen, then those 
who had old guns of various kinds, and lastly those who car- 
ried only clubs and walkingsticks. Colonel Lount was at 
the head of the riflemen, und he ard those in the front rank 
fired, and instead of stepping to oae side to make room for 
tiiosc behind to fire, fell fiat on thcii faces, the next rank fired 

[21] It ia needless now to coDlnidict tliist^russ fa'gehpod, since tlie danger in 
wliicli t!io Cii,y had been placed was no sooner known in the counttyi than thowands 
rush'd in arm!), from all quarters, to the rescue. All Upper Canada, indeed, rose, 
with but few exceptions, as onernan ; — or, as a lion, in iiisstrengi hand majesty, shaking 
the dew'dropi? from his mane ! Justifying the lj:?h character of its people for their 
loyalty, high, and unconquorahlo spirit, when the.r host and dearest intorests are in 

As well might 


[25] Again, this disgusting expression of "IVeig-n Government"-—! 
Yorkshire, in England, stigmatize Middlesex, as a foreign Country ! 

[20] Yes— a gun rnay go off— though it bt nol chargad ! 

tm * *•'" 



[ 14 ] 

and did the same thing.*' I was rather in front when the firing 
begun, and stood in more danger from the rifles of my friends 
than the musqncts of my enemies. I slept to the side of the 
road and bade them stop firing, and it appeared to me that 
one of our people who was killed was shot in this way by our 
own men. Certainly it was not by the enemy. 

Some persons from town friendly to ns, but not very brave 
had joined us during the march, and they unknown to mc, told 
awful stories about the preparations the torics had made in 
several streets, to fire out of the windows at us, protected by 
feather beds, mattrasses &c. These representations terrified 
many of the country people, and when they saw the riflemen 
in front falling down, and heard the firing, they imagined that 
those who fell were the killed and wounded by the enemy's 
fire ; and took to their heels with a speed and steadiness of 
purpose that would have baffled pursuit on foot. In a short 
time not twenty persons were to be found below tiie toll bar! 
This was olmost too much for human patience.'-^ The city 
would have beci' ours in in hour, probably without firing a 
shot; hundreds of our friends waited to join ns at its entrance; 
the officials were terror sir nek ; Gov. Head hud few to rely 
on ; the colony would hai^e followed the city ; a democratic 
constitution been adopted, and a bloodless chassge from a 
contemptible tyranny to freedom accomplished. But 800 ran 
where no one pursued, and unfortunately ran the wrong way.^' 
I rode hastily back I got in the rear of the main body, 
stopt a number of them, and implored thoju to return. I ex- 
plained matters to them, told them to fear nothing, offered 
with half a dozen more to go between them and all danger, 
and reminded them that the opportunity of that night would 
be their last^° — that the moment it was known in the country 
that the reformers were timid and fearful without cause, Sir 
Francis would instantly gain numbers. But it was of no use. 
To successive groups I spoke in vain. Neither threats^' nor 

[27] How delighted would all the lovers of poace be, if, wlieti two armie3 met 
both B\de3 fell flat on their faces, or, like true yatriotst dotermiricd lo proserve their lives 
as long as possible for the good of their Country — ran away I 

[28] Certainly quite staggering .' 

[29] Most capital! 

[30] True : the last, the very last ! 

[31] It is quite amusinij to bear the little rebel talk of threats ur)dc4- his ovva 
favourite system of Mob-Laie ! 



Uie flring 
ly friends 
ide of the 
me that 
oy by our 

rcry brave 
me, told 

made in 
jtectod by 
g terrified 
gined that 
) enemy's 
adin3ss of 

In a sliort 
e toll bar ! 

The city 
ut firing a 
3 entrance; 
ew to rely 
<re from a 
Itit 800 ran 


ong way. 
main body, 
rn. I ex- 
<T, offered 
all danger, 
ght would 
10 country 
cause, Sir 
of no use. 
ueats'-" nor 

vo armies met 
erve tlieir lives 

uride* his «vvo 

[ 15] 

coaxing could induce them to go to the city. I tri-ed to find 
even fifty or forty to go to town, but the reply was, " we will 
go in the day light but not in the tlark.''^" Of those many went 
home that evening, and although about 200 had joined us 
during the night, we were 200 less numerous on the Wednes- 
day morning. 

With the steamers in the hands of the government, the 
city, 4,000 musquets and bayonets, perhaps 60 experienced 
military ofl[icers, the well paid oificials and their sons and 
dependants, abundance of ammunition, a park of artillery well 
served, the garrison, and the aid of all who are prejudiced in 
favor of colonial government, it had become a diflicult task 
for a collection of undisciplined half armed countrymen, with- 
out cannon, scarce of gunpowder, uot possessed of a single 
bayonet, not even ot guns or pkes for half their numbers, to 
contend successfully against the enemy for the city ; we there- 
fore stood on the defensive en Wednesday. Gentlemen of 
influence, who were pledged to join us, and even the executive 
who had commanded us to make the premature and unfortu- 
nate movement, neither corresponded with us nor joined us. 
To explain their conduct was beyond my power. It discour- 
aged many, and thinned our ranks.^^ 

On Wednesday forenoon, I took a party with me to Dun- 
das street, intercepted the great western mail stage and took 
a number of prisoners, with tie stage, mails and driver, up to 
our camp. The editors state that money was taken from the 
mail, which was not the case.^ But the letters of Mr. Sullivan, 
President of the Executive Coimcil, Mr. Buchanan, and others, 
conveyed useful information. We found they expected soon to 
attack us in the country, and I wrote to the executive in the 
city to give us timely notice of any such attack. Some of the 

[32] Rifles, to be sure, are not tf mjch use in the dark !— and their use has a 
tendency to produce cowardice. 

[33] How true the remark that has been often made, but not generally believed, 
that Maekenzie, after all, was a mere too. in the hands of others. 

[34] This wretched, bad man pretended he robbed no one: — he robbed many 
with his own hands, and, among them, a ooor woman of her all ! The following is only 
one of many vouchors : — 

I, Thomas Cooper, of the City of Toronto, hereby certify, that on Wednesday 
the 6th of December last, I was travelling from the Ciiy into the Township of Toronto, 
in company with James Armstrong, of tlie Humber, both being on horseback. About 
one o'clock in the day, as far as I recollect, both of us stopped at Mr Farr's of the 
Peacock Inn, to get a glass of beer, and fastened our horses to a post. On going back 
to our horses, we found them removed to a shed, and were [proceeding to mount them, 





I 16 ] 

leading reformerci'^ in t!ie city had left it, but not to join ns — 
others socmcd to have lost their eticrjjies ; neither mosscrijrer 
nor letter rcachod our camp ; the executive was not thete. — 
One man on horseback told us wo laiglit be attacked on 

My chief hope lay in this, that if we were not attacked 
till Thursday night, vast reinforcements would join us from the 
outer townrsiiipa, and that reformers at a distance would inarch 
to our aid, the moment they heard that we had struck for 
self-government. V/ith this view, I sought to confine the 
attention of the enemy to the defence of the city, and on 
Thursday morning selected lO riflemen and "20 others to go 
down and burn tlie Don bridga, the eastern appr jach to To- 
ronto, and the house at its end, to take the Montreal mail 
stage and mails, and to Jrav/ out the forces^" in that quarter if 
possible. 1 also proposed that the rest of our men who had 
arms, should take the direction of the city, and be ready to 
move to t!?,e right or left, or to retreat to a strong position as 

when \VQ were taken prisoners and handled very rou;;,'h!y ; both our pockets were 
searclicd, and my purse taken iioin ine ; when jusi ut that moment Makenzie made his 
nppcarance, and asked t!ie man who liad riflsd my poi,''ets, how much money wrs in 
my purse ; the man said lie did not know, but handed the purse to Mackenzie, wlio 
counted it and found eluvev pounds five shillings ; he took therefrom a two dollar nnto 
and a one dollar note, winch he returned to aae in t!ic purse, and the remainder of the 
money he put in his own pocket : ho also look my horse, wliich coat nic j£27 lOs.f 
and a nearly new bridle and saddle. Fron. Mr. Armstrong he toolc four dollars in 
money, and one pound of tea, two pounds o* coffee, and also his horse and bridle and 
saddle. Mr. Armstrong was so alarmed fnm the rough treatment we received, that 
he jumped over a fence and ran across a ficll, when two men fired after but happily 
missed liiin. 1 was also witness to Mackenzie's seizure of the trunk of the servant- 
girl of the house, which contained all her clothes, and as she alleged, fifteen dollars in 
money. The poor girl untreated to have herciotliea and trunk returned, and s-aid he 
might laue the mono;', but Mackenzie was deaf to her entreaties, though made on her 
knees. The woods resounded with her lameitalions ; and 1 was further witness to the 
robbery of a poor wayfarer travelling to Tor»nto, who happened to be passing at the 
time ; he took him prisoner and searched iiis person, on whom he found only half a 
dollar. The poor man was clothed in rags ; and when deprived of his money, the 
tears coursed down his cheeks. 

In about two or three hours after this, the Western Mail arrived at the Peacock, 
which Mackenzie also robbed, and carried ofT horses, coach, and all 

All this I rlo solemnly declare to be true. THOMAS COOPER. 

Toronto, February 10th, 1838. 

[35] The amiable, hemvolent, religions Dr. John Rolph, to wit — who, in his 
charity and good-will to all mankind, advised the conjlagralxon of the City, as ihc beat 
moans to insure success ! 

[30] How carefully this diabolical traitor avoii> all mention of the burning of 
Dr. Home's house with his own hands. Surely, Euch a remorseless villain ought to 
he demanded of the American Government, and the delivery of his person insisted up on 
at all hazards. 




in Ills 
Lhc beat 

[ning of 
light to 

[ 17 ] 

prudence might dictate. At this moment Colonel Van Eg- 
mond ," a native of Holland, owning 13,000 acres of land in 
the Huron Tract, a tried patriot, and of great military expe- 
rience under Napoleon, joined ua, and one of the Captains 
desired a council to bo held, which was done- Col. V. ap- 
proved of my plan, a party went off, set fire to the bridge, burnt 
the house, took Mie mails,^ and went through a part of the city 
ttnmolested. But the councilling and discussing of my project 
occasioned a delay of two hours, which proved our ruin, for 
the enemy having obtained large reinforcements by the steam- 
ers from Cobourg, Niagara and Hamilton, resolved to ^attack 
us in three divisions, one of then to march up Yonge street, 
and the others by ways about a mile to the right and left of 
that road* Had our forces stared in the morning, the party 
at the bridge would have interfered with and broken up the 
enemy's plan of attack, and we would have been in motion 
near Toronto, ready to retreat tD some one of the command- 
ing positions in its rear, or to joirthe riflemen below and there 
enter the city. 

We Vvcre still at the hotel, discussing what was best to be 
done, when one of the guards told us that the enemy was march- 
ing Up with music and artillery, md within a mile of us.^^ Our 
people immediately prepared for battle, I rode down towards 
the enemy, doubting the intelligence, until when within a short 
distance I saw them with my ovn eyes. I rode quickly back, 
asked our men if they were ready to fight a greatly superior 
force, well armed, and with artillery well served. They were 
ready, and I bade them go to the woods and do their best. — 
They did so, and never did mei; fight more courageously. In 
the face of a heavy fire of grape and canister, with broadside 
following broadside of musketry in steady and rapid succession, 
the;f stood their ground firmly, and killed^" k wounded a large 

[37j This fellow, who was taken at Montgomery'e, died in the City Hospital 
whilst a prisoner. 

[38] This was done by the notorious Peter Matthews, but nothing is said about 
•hooting a poor harmless woman, out of sheer wantonness, at the same lime ! 

[39] Had anything like good generalsli p been observed by the Queen's troops on 
this occasion, the entire rebel squad m)ght. lave been caplured with the utmost ease 
and without loss or risk — a full accouni of transactions of this day will be given 
in the enlarged History of this Rebellion. 

[40] VvhaL outrageous falsehood ! Tlio loyalists did wot lose a single man ; nor 

did the rebels stand their grc 'd at all, until they got into the woods ; and then only for 

a moment or two, being speedily put to the route by a well directed charge of grapa 

and cannistcr, Jired by our gallant townsman. Dr. Lang — and as to the position of the 

ebels it was exceedingly /awurad/e ; and, moreover, they had the choice of the ground. 




. \ 

I 18 J 

number of the enemy, but were at length compelled to retreat. 
Li a more favorable position, I have no doubt bui that they 
would have beaten oft' their assailants with immense loss. As 
it was they had only three killed and three or four wounded. 
I felt anxious to go to Montgomery's for my portfolio and 
papers, which wore important, but it was out of the question, 
so they fell into the hands of Sir Francis. All my papers 
previous to the events of that week I had destroyed, except a 
number of business letters, and these it took my family upwards 
of an hour and a quarter to burn. But with all my caution, 
some letters fell into their hands to the injury of others. 

The manly courage with which two hundred farmers, 
miserably armed, withstood tiie formidable attack of an enemy 
1200 strong, and who had plenty of ammunition, with new 
muskets and bayonets, artillery, first rate European ofHcers, 
and the choice of a position of attack, convinces me that dis- 
cipline, order, obedience and subordination, under competent 
leaders, would enable them speedily to attam a confidence suf- 
ficient to foil even the regulars from Europe. About 200 of 
our friends stood at the tavern during the battle, being un- 

Mr. Fletcher, Col. Van Egmond, myself, and others, held 
a consultation near Hogg's Hollow, and concluded that it 
would be useless to reassemble our scattered forces, for that 
without arms, success would be doubtful. I instantly deter- 
mined to pass over to the United States, and accomplished my 
purpose in three days, travelled 125 miles, was seen by 2000 
persons at least, and with a reward of 4000 dollars advertised 
for ray head, speedily reached Buffalo. 

It is said we were cruel to our prisoners, 54 in number, 
but nothing could be farther from the truth. They had the 
largest and best rooms in the hotel, twelve bed chambers were 
appropriaated to their especial use, and bedding, while our 
volunteers lay in their wearing clothes on the floor of the bar 
and other apartments — they fared as we fared ; and for their 
amusement I sent them up European, American and Canadian 
papers,*^ often without reading them myself. Mr. McDonald 
wrote to his family that he was kindly tr. ated, and it is unjust 
for any British officer to allow such slanders as have appeared 
in the newspapers to go uncontradicted. 

(41] Stolen flrom the Maili. 

(: kf,. 


[ 19] 

As to Sir Francis Head's story of 10,000 men itistantlj 
making to the capital to support him, it is a sheer fabrication* 
If that were true, why has a law become necessary since to 
8r~pend the trial by jury? Why were his family confined for 
two days on board a steamboat? Why did he send us a flag 
of truce on Tuesday, when all the force he could muster was 
150 men and boys, out of a population of 20,000 in and near 
to Toronto P The truth is, that thousands were on their way 
to join u3 on Thursday evening, that being the regular time 
for which the towns had been summoned ; and they, on learn- 
ing that wo were dispersed, made a virtue of necessity, and 
professed that they had come to aid the tories ! Sir Francis, 
in his Speech, s ys they were " generally speaking, without 
arms ;" and in fact most of tliem had none to bring. That 
was the grand difficulty ; and would have been remedied had 
our movement been delayed till Thursday, as agreed on. — 
Very few Militia men in Upper Canada had been entrusted 
with arms, and of these few the Government had endeavored, 
through Captain Magrath and others, to deprive them previous 
to the outbreak. 

The burning of Mr. Gibson's house, stables, and out- 
houses, by the order and in the presence of Governor Head,** 
was highly disgraceful to him, and is a stain upon his reputa- 
tion. Dr. Home's premises was head quarters to the spies 
and traitors who invested our camp, aud used for the purpose 
of the enemy, but this was not the case with those of Mr. 
Gibson. Yet ijovernment destroyed them, and carried off his 
cattle, horses, grain, and property, and used or sold it, and 
kept the money. The moveables of hundreds of others were 
taken in the same way. Sir Francis' advisers may live to see 
this example followed more extensively than they desire.** 
When the reformers destroyed the house of Dr. Home, they 

[42] So far from being a fabrication all America now knowa it to be fact. 

[43] We admit these are rather home questions — which the Councillors of Hi* 
.Excellency the Lieutenant Governor inugt answer. 

[44] This was done neither by the order, nor in the presence, of the Governor— 
who evinced an extraordinary degree of clemency throughout the day . 

[451 The abortive attempts which have been made, although abetted by thouaandg 
of rascally Yanktet, to carry this threat into txecution, promise ampl« •wwitf foe 
the future. 










* r 


dill not curry off to ihe value of oiio farthing of his eflecls.*' A» 
to Sherill'Jarvis' premises, they would have been burnt but 
for two reasons — 1st, wo liad no proof that the Slierirt's houao 
was used as a rendezous for our enemies ; and, 2ndly, there 
were sick people in it, whom w ''d not wish to make war 

About 3,500 persons joined us during the three days on 
which we were behind Toronto." 

My large and extensive Book Store, the newest and most 
valuable Printing Establishment in Up|)er Canada, and my 
Bindery, were entered by Alderman Powell, and others, on the 
Tuesday, the types upset, the work destroyed, and every thing 
on the premises cither rendered useless or carried oft". 

The American people will understand the state of society 
in the Canadas, when infortped, that martial law obtains at 
Montreal, and that the Habeus Corpus Act is suspended at 
Toronto — that the opposiliou presses are all destroyed or 
silenced, and their Editors expatriated — and that the liberty 
of speech, and of the press, is erijoined in an equal degree in 
conquered Poland and in conquered Canada. ""^ 

There may be errors in ttje preceding narrative, and if 
so, I shall be thankful for their correction. My motives having 
been impeached by sorno, I cheerfully refer to those of all 
parties who have had the best means of observing my public 
and private conduct for many years past, whether I am deserv- 
ing of blame, as one who recommended a movement which has 
not been successful, or for lack of discretion, or energy, so far 
as concerned in its execution, are questions which, if worth 
while, the public have the facts before them to determine. — 
Being of opinion that a vast majority of the people of Upper 
Canada earnestly desire independence, and firmly persuaded 
that with perseverance they will attain it, I intend to continue 
to devote my very humble efforts towards hastening the happy 

[46] No, because it wa8 not very convenient for them so to do; but the Fvebrand 
Mackenzie broke up, and burnt ecnie of the valuable lurniture in the house with hit 
own hands ! 

[47] We have no means of ascertaining the truth of this statement, but we do 
not believe there was ever, at any one time half the number. 

[48] The American people are not such fools as to believe any portion of this 
lying braggadocio. Look at the public declarations of the American citizens of Moh' 
trtal and ,S<. Catharimt- 



[ '^^ ] 

time when Culoiiial vassalage will bo exchanged for fVeedoni 
and poace.*' 

The Canadian people owe to their American brethren a 
large debt of gratitude, and will, I trust, ever remember the 
kindness and sympathy extended towards ihem.'" The freemen 
of this frontier have lost sight of the political and party divisions 
of the hour, and enthusiastically cheered our aspirats for 
liberty, indulging a lively hope that heaven would speedily bles» 
their efforts, and hasten the day in which they will be enabled 
to burst the bonds of ages of tyranny, attain liberal political' 
institutions, and become prosperois and free. 

I am, dear Sir, 

Ycur faithfcrl-^Tvant, t 



[49] Sliould Mackenzie'H ('ju over rest u?on Iheao notes, we shall here as iuro 
hiui that his very nnmo is hold in execration, c\m by liis former friends in Canada — 
and both his public and his nrivalu conduct Ims iiccured tho inheritance uf an eternal 
infamy ! and the very way to secure tlio freedom and peace he so liypocritically talksr 
about — is to brmg himself and all oiiicrs aa guiliy as himself, to speedy justice. 

[50] Yes, such a debt, revcrbing the matter— that Jonathan will find it very difB- 
cult to pay. Of character, to bo sunt ho lius no: much to lose, but he has a few dollara 
left — and most abominably does he iiate to purl with them — but part with them h« 
must on this occasion. 


A 1» P E N I X , 




On Monday evening, the 4ili ol December, 1837, whilst engaged at the 
City Hall, in swearing in Special Constables, and in tiie distribution of arms, 
&,c., finding from the number of Magistrates present, that lie could be of more 
service by taking charge of several volunteers who had assembled to patrol on 
horsebauk through tho diflercnt approaches to the City during the night, for the 
purpose of reconnoitering the movements of the Rebels, who were said to be 
in force, especially ii. Yonge-Street, Mr. Powell determined on turning out, in 
person, on that critical service, and Mr. Archibald McDonald offered to accom- 
pany him. 






[2^2 ] 

Juit ai the arrAni;enienti were niHdo for thii lerTice, Col. FmoiBaon, io 
company wiih Mr. Brock and Mr. Bkllinoiiam, rudo up and declared their 
intention of turning out lik«!wise. It wiis agreed thoy should go togetlicr. Mr. 
McDonald went home for his home, and Mr. Powell went to his house for 
arms ; hut, after loading his gun, finding ho had no caps, ho abandoned the 
idea of taking it, and proceeded to overtake the party, wlio had gone on be- 
fore, Invini; with hitn only two small pistols, which he had borrowed from the 
High BiiililV as ho left the City Hall. 

Mr. Powell went alone as far as the Sheriff's Hill, about a niile from the 
Citv, when Iih met Col. Fitxgibbon returning by liimMelf, who observed that 
Mr". Brock and Mr. Bullingham had gone farther on. Mr. Potvoll returned with 
Col. Fitzgibbon as fur as the toll-gate, when they met Mr. McDonald ; Col. F. 
observing that all was quiet, as he thought, up Yonge-Street, went homo ; but 
Mr. Powell and Mr. McDonald not being quite satisfied, resolved upon pro- 
ceeding northwards with the view of overtaking Mr. Brock and Mr. Belling- 

As tlioy were proceeding leisurely along,'|on rising tin; eminence called the 
lilue- Hills, they encountered dhur^crsons on horseback, riding abreast of each 
other ; Mr. Powell thought they were friends, but, as they approached, no less 
a personage than Mackenzie himself, advanced a little before the rest, and 
ordered Mr. Powell and his friend to halt ; the others, his companions, instantly 
surrounded them — Mackenzie was armed with a large horse-pistol, the rest had 
rilles in their hands. 

Or. Mackenzie telling Mr. P. and his friend that they were prisoners, Mr. P. 
detnandud by what authority ! Mackenzie replied, he would soon let him know 
by what authority ! Anderson, who was one of the opposing party, then cried 
out, that " their rifles were their authority !^'' Mackenzie asked many questions 
iis .0 the <" 'cc, and prepatioiis made in town? — what guard was placed at tho 
Government House ? and whether an attack on the part of ilic rebels was ex- 
pected that light? &c. &,c., to all which questions Mr. P. indignantly and 
fearlessly replied, that he, Macl:enzie, might go and see. This answer ap- 
peared to cnrago the little rebel very much, and ho immediately ordered An- 
derson and Sheppard to march his prisoners into the rear, and " hurry on the 



Anderson took charce of Mr. Powell, and Sheppard undertook to secure 
Mr. McDonald. Mr. P. arfd his guard went first, and Mr. McD., with his 
sentry about ten yards behind. Anderson was excessively abusive towards the 
Governor, and said that he would " let Bund Head know something before 
long .'" Mr. P. asked him of what he had to complain, and attempted to rea- 
son with him on the impropriety and wickedness of his conduct: Anderson 
replied that " they had borne Tyranny and Oppression too long, and were now 
determined to have a Government of their own.^* 

From all Mr. P. could gather he "■'•jnd, beyond doubt, that the rebels were 
upon their march to the City, and werj near at hand, with a view of taking "u 
by surprize ; and, that those who had captured himself, and his companion, 
were the advance guard. 

When opposite to Mr. Home's gate^ a person on horseback met them—- 
Anderson ordened him to halt, and inquired who he was? He replied " Thom- 
jo«." Mr. P. instantly said, " Mr. Thomson, I claim your protection — J am 
aprisoner.^^ The person, who turned out to be Mr. Brooks, recognized Mf. P. 
by his voice, and said, " Powell, the rebeb httee that po»r Gul. Moodie, and 

Inred their 
tlicr. Mr. 
s house fur 
idoncd the 
ono on he- 
el from the 

le from the 
iorvcd that 
turned with 
Id; Col.K. 
homo ; but 
upon pio- 
Ir. Belling- 

called the 
east of each 
hed, no less 
10 rest, nnd 
ns, instantly 
the rest had 

oners, Mr. P. 
et him know 
f, then cried 
iny questions 
ilaccd at the 
bels was ex- 
gnantly and 
answer ap- 
ordored An- 
hurry on the 


to secure 

with his 

towards the 

'.thing before 

npted to rea- 


ind were now 

B rebels were 

f of taking u 


met them — 
lied " Thom- 
*ection — I am 

;nized Mf. P. 

Moodie, and 


[ *^3 ] 

mri adtancing on th$ City f " On taying iMii, Mr. B. put ipHr* to hit borte, 
and luccuedeU in making hi» vicape ; fur, ulthough both Anderson nnJ Shep- 
pard turned round to fire ut him, th«y cuuld not utfuct their purpoio, owing to 
Mr. Powell and liis friend being between them and iheir object. 

Upon this intelligence, Mr. Powell made up his mind to an attempt at 
escape, nt all hazards, feeling assured that the salvation of the City depended 
upon instant and correct information being conveyed to it. Mr. P. made several 
attempts to fall buck ; which, being observed by Anderson, the latter said if 
Mr. P. persisted in such attempts, ho (Anderson) would ^^ drive a ball through 
Mm.^^ Iluviii^ ^uno on in this way, as fur as Mr. lleath*s gate, Mr. Powell 
suddenly drew out a pistol and fired at Anderson, who was not more than two 
jeet distant at the time ; — Anderson fell like a suck, and neither spoke nor 
moved afterwards ;— Mr. P. riding off, a: the instant, at full speed, down the 
Street, towards tlio City. Mr. McDonald did the same. Sheppard followed, 
and fired at them, tho ball passing betwten them, although Mr. McD. was 
considerably in advance. Mr. P. finding his horse could not keep up, shouted 
to McDonald to ride hard, and give the alarm to the City. 

At the SherifT's Mill, they were Rgiin met by Mackenzie, and the other 
person. Mackenzie rode after Mr. Puweil, and pitfienting a pistol at his head, 
ordered him to stop, on which Mr. P. turned round, and snapped his remaining 
pistol in Mackenziti's face, which he actually touched, being so near. Mac- 
kenzie's hoise either took fright, or he could not be sibpped, for he ran on 
ahead of Mr. Powell, who suddenly drew up at the road which turns off towards 
Dr. Baldwin's house at Spadipa. up whicli he gallopped for about twenty yards, 
and then jumped off his horse, 9hd ran in o the woods. * 

Hearing himself pursued, Mr. P. laid down for a short time behind a log, 
whilst u person on horseback passed by lim, withirf 4he short distance of ten 
yards. At this crisis, indeed, the feelings of Mr. P. must have been very 
acute ; for he did not know but ^lat the adjoining woods were filled with 

Soon as something like a pause in tlie pursuit occurred, Mr. Powell started 
from his retreat behind the log; and, running through t-he College fields, gained 
the Avenue ; — down which he continued his course, keeping near the fcnco, 'lill 
he reached the City. He went instantly to the Government House ; and, 
after much difficulty, obtained an interview with the Governor, who was in bed! 
In a few words, Mr. P. related all that he had seen and heard. Delicacy, of 
course, forbade Mr. P. from informing us of all that took place during the inter- 
view; but, at length, His Excellency appeared to believe in the reality of ih» 
thing! From tho Government House, Mr. P. went to the City Hall, and did 
what was necessary there. 

Mr. McDonald was re-captured at the Toil-Gate, and neither Mr. Brooke's, 
nor any other person, arrived in the City from Yonge Street, until all the bells 
were ringing. 

LouNT has confe«|^ed to several persons that the death of Anderson, alone, 
prevented the attack upon the City that night. Who then, under Providence, 
is to be accounted its Saviour? Unhesitatingly, we answer, John Powbll, 
Esquire — the present Mayor of the City! — and he knows not of this fair rii4 
candid eulogium. 



< •"